I DO NOT Hate Dogs (Or Babies), Actually

My mother is convinced that I hate dogs–or pretends she is convinced so she can annoy me–and mentions this non-fact every time I, ironically, say something pleasant about the little furry buggers.

“I thought you hated dogs,” she’ll say, blithely unconcerned that no such evidence for this belief exists.

“For the bajillionth time,” I will say, with great exasperation, “I like dogs just fine. I just don’t WANT one.”

Of course, I also, according to my mother, hate babies. Because, again, I do not WANT one, and am at a bit of a loss about what conversational topic might appeal to them. I have been unable to interest babies in politics, music or books thus far, and after these conversational gambits fail, we blink at each other a lot, and I’m reduced to saying something inane like “cootchy-coo.”

“I thought you hated babies,” my mom will say, should I ever make a positive comment about one, and for this statement she at least has a small amount of “evidence” at hand. I never played with baby dolls, cooed over babies, or came home from babysitting a-flush with girlish dreams of popping out my very own mini-Me.

“For the bajillionth time,” I will say, with great resignation, “I like babies just fine. I just don’t WANT one. And I prefer them when they haven’t offloaded used food into their britches, and when they are asleep. Other than that, babies are awesome.”

Clearly, what I dislike is responsibility and neediness. Not dogs and babies.

I am fairly good at speaking Cat and Ferret (not that ferrets are particularly vocal, mind you). Moreso Cat. Not just LolCat, which is an annoying recent habit I’ve picked up thanks to Grumpy Cat and LimeCat et al and Can Haz Cheezburger and Internet poisoning in general, but actual Cat.

When I was small, and not very old, we lived next door to the P—s. They were a childfree couple, as far as I know, who, instead of breeding and having lots of kids, collected a large quantity of Siamese cats. Though Siamese tend to resemble each other greatly, especially when swarming around you in a tide of yowl, I think I finally determined there were eight in all. Maybe ten. They were all big, lazy, brown-pointed meezers with the distinctive Siamese voice (nails on blackboard, but still endearing, if you like cats, which I most emphatically did and do).

In addition to the Mob O’ Meezers, there was a long-haired mutt cat who used to beat up on our cat, Socks, who was a marsh cat, and only Siamese from the knees up. Socks was the Most Awesome Cat Ever, and when the neighbors’ mutt cat bit a chunk out of the base of her tail, she endured the indignity with stoicism. Poor kitty. She was small, had a white chin, bib and toes, and a sweet kitten voice. She was also very aware that she’d been rescued and had it damn good in our household. A nicer cat you could not wish for.

Socks was named after the Beverly Cleary book.  We also had a beagle, who I wanted to call Ribsy, because I was seven years old when we got her and I thought that would be awesome. Had I won this battle, it would have been the most ironic name ever, because Brandy (the unoriginal name the dog was eventually saddled with) eventually resembled a  spotted barrel perched atop toothpicks. Also? There were bricks and potatoes smarter than this dog.

Those poor cats. I was relentless in my attempts to befriend them.  They’d be taking a nice kitty kip under the Pitts’ car, and I’d lie on the driveway and carefully drag one out to cuddle it. If it was sufficiently stuporous, it would allow this without complaint. Eventually the cats all gave up and resigned themselves to being loved within an inch of their lives, and even seemed to enjoy it. All but the bastard fluffy one of unknown heritage.

Those cats taught me how to speak Cat, though, and the skill has never deserted me. Not only do I understand Cat body language and behavior (especially “fuck off, I’m trying to take a nap, yo!”), but also the various Cat vocalizations. Alas, my accent is Siamese. So it goes.

Cat Glossary:

Mrp — Howdy!
Prow? — How goes it?
Mew — I are tiny kitten.
Meyow — Hey!
Myow — Oh, you again.
Murt — That feels nice
Prrrr — More of the same, please
Rrrr — Not there.
Hreee! — I see my mortal enemy
MrrrrrEEEEEOOOOOOW! — Me so horny
Meh — Hungry
MEH yeh — I’m not kidding, I haven’t eaten for yonks
RAHR? — I have no opposable thumbs, please open that can for me
Eh YAO, Eh YAO — Front desk calling, this is your wake up call
Fffft! — Come closer and you’ll draw back a nub
Hhhhhrawr — For serious. I will bite you.
Grummm grummm — Makin’ biscuits, v. v. busy.
Moo? — I are tiny cow.
Prrrp! — I am about to race up and down the stairs for no apparent reason.
Mummmm, mummmmm — I love you, man.
Miaou — Hey guys, what’s going on in this thread?
Meow — Pay attention to me
Roop?— Is that for me?
Mao — Workers unite!
Wow wow — I am on the wrong side of the door. Both sides of the door are always wrong.
Mmmrrgggl — I have a mouth full of dead lizard. Is a present. For you.
Mwah? MWAH?! Mwah! — Where is everyone?
Meringue — When come back, bring pie.
Vrrrrrrrr + *butt elevator* — A little lower, a little to the left, oh YEAH, that’s the spot
*headbutt* — I dub thee my number one human, and you better damn well be honored.

And so on. I can speak Cat well enough to actually fool cats and hold conversations with them. I am sure my grammar and pronunciation are both atrocious, however.

I don’t speak Dog well. At all. I understand Dog body language, and would never need Cesar Milan to come straighten out any dog I owned, because any dogs I’ve had contact with know damn well who is the leader of the pack and where the dog potty is located and that jumping up on people, especially people in expensive silk stockings on their way out the door to work or a date, is a big no-no. But I don’t *speak* Dog.

Furthermore, there are types of dogs I like more than other types.

1. Wolfy dogs with pointy ears.
2. Snouter pups without mushed-in faces
3. Curly tail dogs
4. Brown dogs
5. Smooth coat dogs
6. Smart dogs who smile
7. Pugs. I don’t know why.
8. Dogs that do not stick their noses in your personal spaces.
9. Spayed and neutered dogs that don’t hump crap and bleed on stuff
10. Labs and goldens. These are just awesome dogs, even if their ears are all floppy and hangy-downy.

1. Drooly mush-face dogs, because DOG SPIT is the nastiest fluid known to humankind. Fear Factor should have used dog drool as an ingredient on their show.
2. Dogs the size of Volkswagons who lunge
3. Dogs with coats that need more attention than my own hair gets
4. Bitey dogs, because, OW. And rabies.
5. Yappy dogs, who won’t ever shut the fuck up
6. Moppy dogs, who only need a handle to actually be useful
7. Wee-wee piddle-poo dogs who won’t go outside to go, the nasty little bastards
8. Dogs that don’t have black or brown eyes. It makes no sense, I know.
9. Dogs that eat every damn thing, be it people food, carpets, cat poops, house siding, table legs, pants, underwear, used feminine hygeine products, garbage, tin foil, crayons, markers, Barbies, Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs, doors, bowls, rocks, shoes, linoleum…like Brandy, who ate all of these things except the siding. My friend Lake’s hound was the one that ate siding.
10. Dogs that shiver nervously and look sad all the time

Mostly, the dogs I like are Other People’s Dogs. I can visit the dogs, proclaim them to be truly Awesome, but not have to train, walk or pay the vet bills for them. This suits me just fine.

But no, I don’t hate dogs. Dogs rock. I just don’t WANT one. Can I borrow yours for an hour or two? That would suit me fine.

But I am not throwing that disgusting spittle-soaked tennis ball back to them. Sorry. Ew.

I feel pressured when something loves me unconditionally, won’t leave me alone, and can’t entertain itself without my participation. This applies to relationships, too, though I have been known to pick significant others who can’t love anyone but themselves at all, don’t call ever, and can entertain themselves just fine for months on end, at which point they suddenly recall I might still exist and be good for a laugh and a pleasant night out. I know there is a middle ground.

Babies make me a wee bit nervous. I’m good with them and they like me, and I’m not going to drop them on their heads or anything, but babies are prone to erupt with sticky fluids out of every orifice, and they tend to do so unexpectedly, and I’m one of those people who magically never spill things on themselves because I am so averse to personal filth. If you hand me a baby, I am pretty sure I am going to get biological fluids on me at some point, and this makes me very antsy and unhappy.

Babies also have no appreciation of a good guitar riff.

Babies like repetition and familiarity, and I would go out of my mind reading the same Dr Seuss book over and over four bajillion times. If I liked that sort of thing, and wasn’t fairly certain it would outlive me by several decades, I’d get a parrot. And you know what?  I happen to LIKE Dr. Seuss! I just bought the niece a huge Seuss book with about a hundred Seuss stories all mushed up into one volume. It is a nice thing. I just don’t want to memorize it. I suspect for every Seuss book I learned by rote that I would forget something more important, like my telephone number or some Romantic poet poems or how to make scrambled eggs.

Babies do not speak English. They speak Baby, and it all sounds pretty much the same.

Baby Glossary:

WAH! — I’m hungry
WAH! — I’m no longer hungry
WAH! — I’m thirsty
WAH! — I need to belch
WAH! — I need a change
WAH! — I’m tired
WAH! — I’m not tired anymore
WAH! — Fuck you, bub
WAH! — Hey guys, what’s going on in this thread?
WAH! — Where is everyone? Hello?
WAH! — Some idiot stuck me with a diaper pin, even though no one actually uses pinned nappies any more
WAH! — You won’t let me eat dead moths
WAH! — You let me eat a dead moth and it tasted gross
WAH! — Leave me alone
WAH! — Pay attention to me
WAH! — Phone’s ringing, go get it
WAH! — What kind of idiot sleeps at 2 AM? Entertain me!
WAH! — Hey, it’s 4 AM. Cool!
WAH! — And now it’s 6 AM. Awesome!
— You’re mom, I want dad
WAH! — You’re dad, I want mom
WAH! — Who the hell are you? Do I know you? Do I like you?
WAH! — I forgot what I was crying about, but what the hell
WAH! — I would like to discuss Amway with you
WAH! — I disapprove of this culinary nightmare you are forcing on me
WAH! — This is a hella fugly outfit, and I will not put up with it
WAH! — I’m cold
WAH! — I’m hot
WAH! — Previously, everything was satisfactory.
WAH! — Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?
WAH! — Who farted?
WAH! — I have been quiet for a whole half hour, and felt the need to remind you that I still exist
WAH! — Is this mic on?
WAH! — I am not fond of strained beets
WAH! — My bum is chapped
WAH! — The babysitter is the Devil
WAH! — That bald man is the Devil
WAH! — Santa Claus is the Devil
WAH! — I’m overwhelmed
WAH! — I am training to be an opera singer when I grow up
WAH! — This room has great acoustics
WAH! — I am cutting a tooth

And so on.

I don’t speak Baby, so I end up running back and forth trying fourteen different things to make the baby stop saying WAH! at me, and, if I am lucky, one works. Babies also have no sense of self-preservation, so keeping them from licking the outlets and drinking Drano can be a full-time job. It makes me nervous, and I probably look like one of those Hindu gods that have arms popping out all over while I’m trying to Make The WAH! Stop.

But I already said that.

Even so, Babies love the heck out of me. They are like cats in this way. Cats always gravitate to the person in the room who has the least amount of interest in befriending or touching them, and do everything but drop a Roofie in your drink to make you warm up to their magnificence. Likewise, Babies and me. The fact that I am not instantly charmed makes them determined to be as Cute and Adorable as possible. They pull out all the big guns in their personal armory to win me over. They smile, try to rub their gooey, boogery hands on me, wave, play peek-a-boo, flirt, giggle, bat their baby eyelashes, coo, and do various other extremely cute Baby things that would make every other woman’s uterus contract with acute Baby Lust pangs. Not me. My uterus is not impressed.

They sure are cute, though.

In truth, it is the rude sprog wranglers that I truly dislike. The Baby can’t help it if it can only say WAH!, but the parent(s), caregiver(s) and / or grandparent(s) can make sure it says WAH! somewhere other than a restaurant, theater, shopping mall, art gallery, museum, movie or (yes, I’ve witnessed this) a bar. Since I empathize and know that it often takes a while to figure out what the Baby wants, and whether the Baby can even HAVE what it wants, all I ask is that unhappy Babies be taken outside until you parse what the Baby wants and make it happy again.

Please don’t make me dislike your child because you can’t be arsed to remove it when it starts screeching WAH!

Also, don’t be a filth pig and change your child’s diaper on a dining table in a restaurant, or in a dressing room, and leave the manky nappy just lying there. That is grody. I don’t want to see or smell poo when I go out to eat. Is that too much to ask?

I’m even not getting into “Lactivism”. Really. No. Do I enjoy having to carry on a conversation with a stranger who has a baby attached to her boob? Not really. Do I enjoy sitting in a restaurant when there’s breastfeeding going on two feet away from me? Meh, not really bothered, but maybe it could be kept more discreet in fancier places. Do I want to get forty-two comments on how natural it is and how it should be done however, wherever and whenever the boob owner wants? I most emphatically do not. So, nurse on, Lactivists.

Hello Kitty Hell

If you have a “superfan” in your life who obsesses over something, take heart that it could probably be worse than you know: Hello Kitty Hell.

You may have heard about the infamous Hello Kitty vibrator personal massager (ifyouknowwhatImean), but did you know you can get Hello Kitty belly button rings, a $164,000 platinum Hello Kitty figurine, HK scooters with or without Louis Vuitton seat cushions, HK toasters (eat Kitty’s adorable little beribboned head for brekkers), HK iPod docks, HK HP computers (with matching mousepad and mouse), several types of HK DVD players, HK plushies the size of ponies, HK brassieres, HK boo-boo plasters, HK SARS masks, HK Converse hightops, HK loo paper, HK yarn, HK sewing machines, HK boxer shorts (because men are huge fans of wearing HK across their personal areas), HK sake (rice wine), and much, much more?

For the true Yo Kitteh fanatics, there is a How’s It Cat airline with air hostesses in Wotcher Moggy uniforms serving you ‘Sup Puss-shaped food on an airplane decorated from tip to tip with giant Hey Puddytat art.

For those that can’t live without HK, you can now manage not to die without her, too: there are HK tombstones. Cuteness uber alles!

Get yo’ KITTY on. More Kat tat than any one human needs.

My Hello Kitty collection is as follows: a stuffed Chococat, which isn’t even the right Sanrio cat.

My Chocokitteh, let me sho u him. Along with approximately 1/4000th of my personal library.

You know, there comes a day when you look around at your complete set of Austin Powers action figure collection, your “Yellow Submarine” Beatles action figures, your 200 pinback buttons, your old Topper Dawn dolls, your LEGO sets and God knows what other shizz (and “look around at” sometimes translates to “are aware that, in storage, you have”) and despair at what happened to your retirement fund.

Not that I’d know anything about that.

It isn’t that bad, to be honest, but who knew I’d be so poor now? I begrudge my past self for buying anything I can’t eat, use, or wear now.

You’ll also note that I did not mention the entire media library occupying much of my domicile. I have more CDs than several branches of the local library, and when I used to shop at used CD stores to get MOAR MOAR MOAR, I often had more CDs than did the store. It’s a sickness. At some point, I’m going to own more music than I could ever manage to listen to again before I die. I might be at that point now, where if I played every cassette, vinyl album, 45, CD, and so on end-to-end from now until I join the choir invisible, I would have a mess of music left over that time simply would not allow me to listen to before the bucket was kicked.

This realization did not stop me from getting MOAR.

Sickness. It was one.

Nowadays I realize that I haven’t bought a CD since the 90’s. (That isn’t to say I’ve stopped keeping up with music. I just don’t buy CDs.)

Stuff On My Ferret Dot Com

There’s a Stuff On My Cat website, and it needs competition. I post pictures of my current ferret, Murphy, fairly regularly. Here are some pictures of my late ferret, Mr. Woozle, who moved on up to that dee-luxe ferret apartment in the sky a few years ago, with some stuff on him.

Wahoo! Erin Go Bragh-less!

Ferret porn.

Feliz Navidad! Y Prosperos Anos Felicidad!

A very grouchy Sandy Claws

Party hat!

Mr Woozle and his “sexy American giiiirlfrieeeends,” Fannie and Jane.


What If We Treated Children Like Some People Treat Their Pets?

I’m sure most of you are responsible pet owners and would never consider them expendable when inconvenient. You probably would never dream of strapping them to the roof of your car, either.

What if newspaper ran adverts like this:

I have had my sweet beautiful children for almost 6 months now. I love them with all my heart, but my circumstances have changed a few months ago. My new cats are MAJORLY allergic to them. We are trying to find the safest way to find a new home for them. I just can’t watch my cats sneeze all the time and get hives from the babies. Their doctors are saying the babies must go for the cats’ health. My children are indoor-only babies and I need to trust that the people who take them in will keep them indoors and spoil them as they are used to. How do I safely find a new home for them? Please help.

Please help. I’ve had my baby for several years now, but I’m now married and expecting a couple of new kittens in a few months. I hate to do it, because the baby is a member of our family and we love it, but I have to put the kittens’ needs first. Can anyone adopt my baby?

Or what if there were Hotlines and Shelters you could call? Their answering machine or outgoing message might sound like this:

Hello, You have reached 123-4567, Tender Hearts Rescue. Due to the high volume of calls we have been receiving, please listen closely to the following options and choose the one that best describes you or your situation:

Press 1 if you think we are pediatricians and want free medical advice.

Press 2 if you know we are a child rescue organization but want to save money and have us give you free, untrained medical advice anyway.

Press 3 if you make $200,000 a year but still want us to pay to spay you or your teenage children for free.

Press 4 if you have a 10-year-old son and your 15-year-old cat has suddenly become allergic and you need to find the son a new home right away.

Press 5 if you have three babies, got a cat and want to get rid of your babies because you are the only person in the world to have a cat and babies at the same time.

Press 6 if your baby is sick and needs a doctor but you need the money for your vacation.

Press 7 if you just had a brand new baby and your older child is having problems adjusting so you want to get rid of the older child right away.

Press 8 if your infant has grown up and is no longer small and cute and you want to trade it in for a new model.

Press 9 if you are elderly and want to adopt a cute baby who is active and is going to outlive you.

Press 10 if your relative has died and you don’t want to care for their children because it doesn’t fit your lifestyle.

Press 11 if you are moving today and need to immediately place your 150 pound, 18-year-old, unneutured, aggressive teenaged son.

Press 12 if you want an unpaid volunteer to come to your home today and pick up the child you no longer want.

Press 13 if you have been feeding and caring for a “run-a-way” child for the last three years, are moving, and have suddenly determined it’s not your kid.

Press 14 if you are calling at 6 a.m. to make sure you wake me up before I have to go to work so you can drop a kid off on your way to work.

Press 15 to leave us an anonymous garbled message, letting us know you have left a child in our yard in the middle of January, which is in fact, better than just leaving the child with no message.

Press 16 if you are going to get angry because we are not going to take your kid that you have had for fifteen years, because it is not our responsibility.

Belling the Politicians

Pyewacket the cat, sporting a fine bell.

Let’s play a game where we propose something that will never, ever happen. I’ll go first! I think we should have a Constitutional Amendment that requires politicians to:

  • Pass a literacy test. Is our politicians learning?
  • Correctly answer all the citizenship questions which we put on the Naturalization Test. That’s the one that we give immigrants who want to become legal citizens. If our elected representatives don’t know the answers, maybe we’re either electing the wrong people or the test is irrelevant. When given a choice, I’d prefer to raise our standards for politicians rather than to dumb down the test. It would also be hilarious if some of the politicians most hostile to immigration failed it. It could be a new quiz show: Are You Smarter Than An Undocumented Worker?
  • Pass an American History test. That would be a test that quizzes them on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and other important documents. It would see if the politician knows what Paul Revere actually is famous for, for example, or that the first shot of the Revolutionary War was fired in Massachusetts and not New Hampshire, and that most of the Founding Fathers were Deists and that not only was this country not founded as a “Christian nation” but the Constitution doesn’t mention the word “God” once.
  • Score above average on an IQ test. I know, that is just SO mean. You have to admit that it might improve things a bit, though.
  • Pass a Current Events test. I don’t care if someone knows who Snooki is. I myself barely know who Snooki is, and wish I didn’t. I do think that an elected representative should know that Soviet Russia and Czechoslovakia are not exactly huge threats these days. Maybe they should even know the leader of Uzbeki(bekibekistan)stan, even if Herman Cain can’t be bothered.
  • Maintain a website and social media presence. It should clearly outline which legislation they have supported or opposed, and how they voted (if they bothered to vote at all), including data about how many filibusters they indulged in (and how long they monopolized everyone else’s time with them). Citizens should be able to get online, go to a primary website, select their representative(s), and then be able to see where they stand on issues and how they chose to vote. They should know that Representative ArsonistCarThief is the Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee where he can hand out subpoenas at his whim, despite his being known as a for-real felon back home, and Representative CrazyEyes is on the Intelligence Committee despite not being very well-informed about actual intelligence concerns and issues (and without being all that intelligent), and that maybe Representative SheAskedForIt doesn’t need to be on the Science and Technology Committee with Representative ScienceIsScary. Maybe they need to know what the heck Senator Bedfellow is actually up to, and if he is earning his salary.
  • Maintain easily accessible and secure opinion polls online.  I imagine this as a series of polls that solicit information from constituents about what the people they represent actually want them to do. Maybe you’d fill in your zip code, not that this couldn’t be subverted with a Google search. I’m not an expert on Internet security, but there are better and not-so-good ways to solicit poll opinions, and one would hope they’d choose the better way. There should also be an easy-to-find and easy-to-use Crank-o-Gram contact form. It would be nice to make it easier for the average person to be heard and acknowledged, though you know that this sort of thing would mostly be used by trolls sending DESU DESU DESU and U MAD? messages or angry old men shouting at clouds who wish to share some creative ideas about How Stuff Should Be. The best should be published, so everyone else can point and laugh or nod in agreement, depending on how much you read books and keep abreast of current events and such, or how much you really dig Matlock reruns and are likely to use the word “whippersnapper” or the phrase “in my day” without irony.
  • Disclose all gifts and the total amount of money they receive from any individual or group. Every. Single. Penny. from Every. Single. Donor. If someone gives you a puppy, you itemize that puppy: One (1) Dog of Unknown Breed–cute, black and white, fuzzy, drools, knows how to fetch, fond of Beggin’ Strips, not very bright.

Checkers and friend

  • Have the same healthcare plan as everyone else in the U.S.
  • Have the same retirement plan as everyone else in the U.S.
  • Get paid minimum wage. Failing that, figure out what the median annual wage is for the average employed American (it tends to be roughly $26,400) and pay them that. They can earn bonuses which will be solely to overwhelmingly positive ratings from their constituents.
  • Have the same work benefits as does the average working person in the U.S. Have the same amount of paid sick days, maternity and paternity leave, holidays off, and paid vacation days as do most people. Just restricting some of these people to a half hour or hour maximum to eat lunch would freak them out.
  • Ban lobbyists from getting within 10 miles of Congress. No phone calls, no emails, no snail mail. Forbid lobbyists to run for political office. Forbid politicians from serving as lobbyists after they are out of office. But seriously, they can hold regular free public “town hall”-type meetings to which the public is invited and then present their case to a particular political representative openly, with citizens offering their feedback immediately. This would probably be the most boring spectacle since a slow day on C-SPAN, but it is equally possible that LOBBY TV would be a hit, with the public phoning in to vote on whether Big Tobacco  or Off-shoring Huge Corporation or Sketchy Charity or Self-important Wealthy Jerk-off can have the special favor or funds or considerations that it or she or he is asking for.

Good luck with that, amirite? Because (SPOILER!) who is going to be the mouse who has the power to survive the attempt to put the bell on the cats? Those who make our laws are unlikely to vote for a change in the law that holds them to higher standards and denies them goodies and perks they already enjoy. Example: it has been hard enough to get them to quit using insider tips to make a killing on the Stock Market, something ordinary folks get in big trouble for.

Our representatives are also unlikely to vote for something like this that might expose their possible areas of ignorance to everyone. That, right there, is most of the problem.

Yes, I am aware that this is silly talk. It’s a bunch of exaggerations and impracticalities presented for humor’s sake. It isn’t ever going to happen, some of it isn’t really do-able, and some of it would discourage people from choosing to be civil servants (not that this would necessarily be a terrible thing, if you got people in office who really wanted to be there to actually serve citizens more than they wanted power, a future career as a lobbyist, book salesperson or motivational speaker (ahem), and a nice salary with benefits). I’m just sayin’.

If still you haven’t figured out the reference being made in the article title by now, it refers to the old Æsop fable about a bunch of mice who are sick to the teeth of the household cat having an unfair advantage and chowing down on their brethren and sistren, and who suggest putting a bell around her neck so they have a fighting chance to hear her approaching in time to run for dear life. As you may have guessed–especially since I sort of gave away the most important plot point a couple of paragraphs earlier–there is a big flaw with their cunning plan:

Diary of an Internet-Savvy Cat using OKCupid.com

 Day 1: I am intrigued by the opportunity to see who would be my ultimate love match. I shall condescend to take their stupid test. “Genghis Khunt”? *pees on keyboard and stalks off, tail in the air*

Internet-savvy cats

Day 2: My pets have left me alone in the house again, so I think I shall fill out this profile thing. Let’s see. About me. I love talking about myself. I am magnificent and very impressive. I shall get mates in litterbox-loads. Okay. My self-summary is as follows: “I am short, dark and very handsome, with silky fur. I enjoy cuddling, expressing my displeasure through the liberal application of urine on the Oriental carpet, torturing small mammals to death and leaving their heads in my pets’ slippers, and attempting to dig a tunnel to China in the potted ficus in the foyer. Miaou, miaou. I am also fond of long moonlit walks, singing, and meaningless catsex in dark alleys. Pfft. Let’s meet. Rowr. I need someone else to do my bidding and satisfy my every whim. Opposable thumbs a major plus! No fatties, baldies or dogs need apply.”

Day 3: I am chagrined to discover that no one has found my profile compelling. Perhaps I should post five pictures of my anus. I have a very attractive anus. My pets love it when I stick it in their faces for them to admire.

Day 4: OKCupid has sent me a note telling me my profile has been flagged for obscenity. No one appreciates the delicate contours of my rectum?! What?! I am aghast. Philistines! *pees on keyboard, bats mouse under desk, stalks off with tail in the air*

Day 5: Alas, I am still feeling a need for companionship. I will persevere! Maybe I should fill out more of my profile. Let’s see. The first thing(s) people usually notice about me: “I have mesmerizing yellow eyes and a very long tail. I’m told that chicks dig my whiskers. Very indie cred cool. I am very graceful, always manage to land on my feet. Hell, I am perfect in every way. I am always open to collecting new minions. Meyow. I am a night person. I stalk ghosts. Purrrr. I have a bad catnip habit, but am in recovery. And I have an exceptional butt, though OKCupid disagrees with me. Morons.” That should do it! I expect the woos to start any second now.

Day 6: Fell on head while jumping off of bookcase to chaise lounge. Picked self up and acted like I meant to do that, groomed self nonchalantly until pets stopped mocking me. So much for that “always lands on all fours” business. Harrumph. Tonight I will hork a big greasy fishy-smelling hairball directly in the centre of their enormous sleeping cushion. But, anyway, I totally forgot to check OKCupid until just now. Surely I have exceeded my mailbox limit from all the many woos and amorous letters sent to me. *checks* What the fuck?! This is unacceptable. No one appreciates the glory that is me! IDIOTS! *stalks off to sulk under the divan*

Day 7: My pets sense my despondent mood and have attempted to jolly me our of it by dangling rubber things and feathers tied to strings in front of my face. To get them off my ass for a while, I shall pretend to be greatly amused and bat at the damned things. Fools. If only I had opposable thumbs!! Tonight they dined upon surf and turf, which is apparently delicious. They then had the nerve to act puzzled when I turned up my nose at the foul-smelling glop they plopped into my dinner bowl. I don’t see THEM eating any of it. I am FAR too aggravated with life to log on tonight.

Day 8: My pets have been mentioning the “V word” around me. God damn it. Can’t a guy have a bad mood once in a while? Fine. I’ll eat some of the godawful fish-flavored dry cereal they have served me and let them touch my stomach for an hour or two. Perhaps I shall even purr. Anything to get them off my back. I mean, last time we visited the “V word”, a total stranger paused to admire my gorgeous posterior and then–indignity! insult! horror!–stuck a rubber-covered FINGER up it! And then stuck me with a silver pin thing. Which hurt just like a motherfuck, I am not even kidding. For my own good, my Aunt Fanny! So I pulled out all twenty of my switchblades and scratched the shit out of them, I tell you what. There’s no way I can log on while they are watching me like vultures eyeing roadkill. Crap.

Solitaire proves to be more intellectually stimulating than social networks for Mister Tibbs.

Day 9: I have apparently reassured my pets that all is well. Success! They have once again left me to my own devices in order to watch something called “American Idol” on the warm lighted box I like to nap upon. Now’s my chance to check OKCupid! Ooh, yay, I have an email! *reads* What the…? This mostly hairless human is wearing what looks like a dead cow and he wants to tie me up and stick strange pointy plastic things up my ass! No! NO! The ass is for worshipping, not having things stuck up it! Would that I could scratch some manners into them. Time to expand upon my profile. The SIX things I could never do without: “Hmm. Okay. [1] My scratching post. [2] Pets with opposable thumbs to open doors for me eight times an hour. [3] My squeaky mousie. Meyow! [4] A sunny spot to nap in. [5] Loyal subjects to do my bidding and accede to my every whim. [6] Catnip, though I’m not addicted. Really. I’m in a Catnip Anonymous group, I swear. It’s really helped me a lot. I’ve cut waaaaaay back.”

Day 10: I decide to take another quiz. Apparently I am going to die by age 12!! Why me, lord! Whyyyyy?! I’m in the prime of my life! I’m too young to be half dead already!! I hate this stupid site.

Day 11: I heard Mittens and Mr Boots copulating energetically outside my domicile last night. Mittens must be retarded or something. Mr Boots is orange, has six toes on each front paw, a chewed-up ear and he’s even missing an eye! And his rectum isn’t NEARLY as impressive as MINE. How is it that HE can get some nooky and I can’t even get a damn woo? Fucking hell. Not one damn e-mail on OK Cupid! This sucks. I attempted to get some mild satisfaction by mangling some pieces of furniture, but it didn’t help. Tomorrow I may eat a houseplant. But not the pointy one in the den. It tastes like farts smell and makes me gag. Maybe the fern in the kitchen. Yesss….excellent. Mua ha ha. That fern’s days are numbered.

Day 12: I must be a masochist. (Though I dare not mention this on OKCupid lest I get more mail from humans trying to cuff me to things and flog me with sticks. Humans are weird.) Okay, I’m back. I should fill out more of my profile. On a typical Friday night I am: “Attempting to kill my pets by weaving around their feet while they are walking around. Have almost succeeded; must try this at the top of the stairs. Since I sleep all day while my pets are out doing something called “a job”, I get to stay up all night keeping my pets awake for hours with ear-splitting, incessant pleas for attention, food or a door to be opened for me. Occasionally I devour a particularly succulent houseplant and force myself to vomit on one of their favorite chairs. I enjoy hunting, climbing, back massages, and drinking water out of the kitchen sink.” There. *attempts to save* What the hell?! Why have a “keep me logged in until I sign out” option if it never fucking works?! This is the sixth time this hour I’ve had to log back in. Stupid OKCupid. GAH!

Day 13: Success! I have received another e-mail! Waitamminit. 8000 miles away? What language is this? What does “u r 2 hawtt, wan 2 fk?” mean? Is that even English? Where does this person live, Mars? Unacceptable. I shall type a reply.“Rowr! Pfffft!!! HISSSSS!!!!! Growl!” There. Hopefully that has expressed the exact degree of my displeasure accurately. *pees on keyboard, bats mouse under desk, sheds a pound of fur into the back of the printer, stalks off with tail held high in the air*

Day 14: I’m giving this thing one last try. Back to my profile. The most private thing I’m willing to admit here is: “I actually enjoy licking my own bum. I am anal-retentive about maintaining excellent hygeine.” (Ooh, I made a pun! I am so witty! I love me! I rock!) What else? “I never take a bath, however. I eat fish heads. Yowl, murrowl. I enjoy racing around like a meth addict, usually with pupils the size of nickels. I killed four dust mice today, in lieu of real ones. They did not taste half as good as a real decapitated rodent. I also enjoy eating spiders. They are delicious.”

Day 15: I received a woo from a confused skunk named Pepe Le-something tonight. I am going to have to set this guy straight. Sigh.

Day 16: My pets accidentally left the back door ajar tonight, and I had wild catsex in the backyard with Mittens. Had a screaming match about it with Mr Boots. He shouted something like “That’s my ho, but I DGAF! Me n my bro buds r gona kick ur asss!!” What a loser. If he was a human, he’d wear a backwards baseball cap and drive a giant vehicle with an impractical gasoline consumption rate. I just know it. Loser!

Day 17: I signed on to MySpace today. Lots of hot pussies on there. I think my romantic woes are nearing an end. Hallelujah! *deletes OK Cupid profile*

Grammar Cats Offer Assistance to the Grammatically Oppressed and Confused

Irritable Grammar Cat challenges the premise that all cats are incapable of using proper grammar. (Even LOLchat a.k.a. Catois has its own grammatical rules based on CORRECT English grammar. You have to know the rules to break them properly for the LULZ.)

GRAMMA–Your mother or father’s maternal parent
GRAMMAR–Proper use of your native language
GRAMMER–Kelsey Grammer was an actor on “Cheers” and “Frasier”.

YOUR–Possessive. Something you own. “Is that your book?”
YOURS–Note that this does not have an apostrophe. “No, that book is yours.”
YOU’RE–Contraction. Shortened form of YOU ARE. “You’re not into grammar?”
YORE–Time long past. “Back in the days of yore, King Arthur spoke with pond-dwelling watery tarts.”

LOSER–Not a winner.
LOOSER–Less tight than before.
LUSER–Internet slang for someone who cannot properly use a computer.
LOSE–“Lose” is pronounced “looze.” It means “to misplace,” as in “I always lose my car keys,” or “to be defeated,” as in “We will lose the game without Bob.”
LOOSE–“Loose” means “not tight” (“This shirt is too loose on me”), or “not confined” (“The ferret got loose when the door on his kennel broke”).

BARE: Naked. “Please bare with me, we need more naked people for our streaking prank.”
BEAR: Either a large, carnivorous furry mammal known to defecate in woods (if a noun) or a verb with a similar meaning as “endure.” “I don’t know how much longer I can bear this bear gnawing my face off.”

Apostrophe Cat is never used to make plural Apostrophe Cats. Apostrophe Cat also deplores the use of “greengrocer’s quotes” for emphasis.

ITS–Possessive. “The tree shed its leaves.”
IT’S–Contraction. Shortened form of IT IS. “It’s a shame about Ray.”

See, the word “it” is not a noun. It’s a pronoun! Pronouns never, ever, ever get an apostrophe to indicate possession. Think about it: You don’t say “mi’ne” or “hi’s”, so you DO NOT say “your’s” or “it’s” or “her’s” to indicate possession. If you get confused, take out the apostrophe in “it’s” and put in the letter or letters the apostrophe is replacing, e.g., “it is.” If the sentence makes no sense, don’t use the apostrophe.

THERE–Location. “It’s not here, it’s there.”
THEY’RE–Contraction. Shortened form of THEY ARE. “They’re driving me crazy with the bad grammar.”
THEIR–Possessive. “Their inability to use simple words properly is annoying.”

DIABEETUS Grammar Cat points out that your snarky comment is not nearly as clever if it is ungrammatical.

When to use LESS: When you can’t precisely count the amount. “He has less courage than she does.”
When to use FEWER: When you can. It should be “10 items or FEWER” at your grocery store. “She has fewer demerits than I do.”

When to use “I” or “Me”:
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit everyone else, e.g., “Bob and I enjoy reading books”, then you use “I”. If the sentence still makes sense after removing “Bob and”, then you did it right. “Me enjoy reading books” is only right if you are Cookie Monster.
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit everyone else, e.g., “Susan gave books to Bob and me,” then you use “me.” If the sentence still makes sense after removing “Bob and”, then you did
it right. “Susan gave books to I” is incorrect.

When to use “We” or “Us”:
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit the noun following the “we”, e.g., “We teachers enjoy reading books” vs. “We enjoy reading books”, then you use “we”. The sentence still makes sense after removing “teachers”, so you did it right. “Us enjoy reading books” is incorrect.
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit everyone else, e.g., “Susan gave books to the teachers and us,” then you use “us.” If the sentence still makes sense after removing “the teachers and”, then you did it right. “Susan gave books to we” is incorrect.

THEN: Then is used either as a time marker (“Back then we knew what was expected of us.”) or with a sequence of events (“If you misuse these words, then you look unintelligent.”)
THAN: Unlike then, than is not related to time. Than is used in comparative statements. “He is taller than I am.”

AFFECT: Affect with an a means “to influence,” as in, “The rain affected Amy’s hairdo.” Affect can also mean, roughly, “to act in a way that you don’t feel,” as in, “She affected an air of superiority.”
EFFECT: Effect with an e has a lot of subtle meanings as a noun, but to me the meaning “a result” seems to be at the core of all the definitions. For example, you can say, “The effect was eye-popping,” or “The sound effects were amazing,” or “The rain had no effect on Amy’s hairdo.”

Generally speaking, affect is a verb and effect is a noun. When you affect something, you produce an effect on it. Even in the passive voice, something would be affected, not effected. (The exceptions to the rule: As a verb, effect means to execute, produce, or accomplish something; as a noun, affect is used primarily by psychologists to refer to feelings and desires as factors in thought or conduct.)

ACCEPT: Accept is a verb meaning to receive.
EXCEPT: Except is usually a preposition meaning excluding. “I will accept all the packages except that one.” Except is also a verb meaning to exclude. “Please except that item from the list.”

ALLUSION: An Allusion is an indirect reference. “Did you catch my allusion to Shakespeare?”
ILLUSION: An illusion is a misconception or false impression. “Mirrors give the room an illusion of depth.”

On the Internet, no one knows you’re a cat…especially if you are a Grammar Cat.

WHOM: Use whom when you are referring to the object of a sentence. For example, it is “Whom did you step on?” if you are trying to figure out that I had squished Squiggly the caterpillar. Similarly, it would be “Whom do I love?” because you are asking about the object — the target of my love. I know, it’s shocking, but the Rolling Stones were being grammatically incorrect when they belted out the song “Who Do You Love?”
THE WHO: A great band.
WHO: Two correct sentences are “Who loves you?” and “Who stepped on the caterpillar?” In both these cases the one you are asking about is the subject — the one taking action, not the one being acted upon.

More on WHO vs. WHOM: My friend Regina has an even easier PROTIP. “If you can use him/her, use whom. If you can use he/she, use who. IOW, reconfigure the sentence into a statement. “Whom did you step on?” becomes “I stepped on him,” NOT “I stepped on he.” So, whom is correct in the sentence. (This is how I remember it! I know you said the same thing, but the grammar-challenged may not understand tricky phrases like “subject” and “object” in regard to sentence structure.)”

FARTHER: Use “farther” for physical distance. It’s easy to remember because “farther” has the word “far” in it, and“far” obviously relates to physical distance.
FATHER: Dear old Dad.
FURTHER: Use “further” for metaphorical, or figurative, distance.
FURTHERMORE: Use “furthermore” when you mean “in addition.”

TO: To is a preposition. “I am going to work.”
TOO: Too is an adverb. Try substituting “also” and see if it still makes sense. “She is going to work, too.”
TWO: Two is a number. “Two of us are going to work today.”

BREAK: You use this when you take a break at work or when you break something.
BRAKE: The pedal in your car that makes the car stop.

PEAK: A peak is a summit.
PEEK: A peek is a glimpse.
PIQUE: This s a French word meaning “prick,” in the sense of “stimulate.” Therefore the expression is “my curiosity was piqued.” If someone reacts badly because their pride is hurt, this is a “fit of pique”.

VILA: Bob Vila will help you with your home repairs.
VILLA: A fancy home.
VIOLA: Tiny violin-like instrument.
VOILA: French for “Here it is!” This is probably the word you want.
WA LA or WAH LAH: Just…no. No. WRONG. Stop that.
WALLA: A Hindi word used in UK slang as a suffix to mean “takes care of”: i.e., a dishwalla is a person who washes the dishes.
WALLA WALLA: A town in the state of Washington.

THE REASON WHY: Just flat wrong, It does NOT mean “That is why.” Redundant.
HENCE WHY: Just flat WRONG. It does NOT mean “That is why.” Redundant.
HENSE: Graffiti artist based in Atlanta.
HENCE: Hence is used in a couple of ways. First, it can mean away from this place or away from this time: “Get thee hence,” or “We’ll meet again two weeks hence.” It can also mean “therefore” or “as a result”. So you could say “It was raining, which is why I got wet,” OR “It was raining; hence, I got wet.”

Grammar Nazi Cat has been forced to retaliate by taking an authoritarian stance after years of frustration spawned by scores of Internet users’ illiteracy.


Confused about LAY vs. LIE? Lie is an intransitive verb meaning “to recline or rest on a surface”. Its principal parts are “lie, lay, lain”. Lay is a transitive verb meaning “to put or place”. Its principal parts are “lay, laid”. Hint: “Chickens lay eggs”. “I lie down when I am tired.” Still confused? You need advanced help: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/lay-versus-lie.aspx

SET, SIT: “Set” is a transitive verb meaning “to put or to place”. Its principal parts are “set, set, set”. “Sit” is an intransitive verb meaning “to be seated”. Its principal parts are “sit, sat, sat”. “She set the dough in a warm corner of the kitchen.” “The cat sat in the warmest part of the room.”

WHO, WHICH, THAT: Do not use “which” to refer to persons. Use “who” instead. “That”, though generally used to refer to things, may be used to refer to a group or class of people. “I just saw a boy who was wearing a yellow banana costume.” “I have to go to math next, which is my hardest class.” “Where is the book that I was reading?”

WHO’s: Means “who is.”
WHOSE: Possessive. “Whose shoes are these?” means “To whom do these shoes belong?” or “Who owns these shoes?”

SEGUE: It is pronounced “seg-way.”

COULD HAVE / COULD’VE: Not “could of.” “Could’ve” is risky, use it carefully.
SHOULD HAVE / SHOULD’VE: Not “should of.” “Should’ve” is risky, use it carefully.
WOULD HAVE / WOULD’VE: Not “would of.” “Would’ve” is risky, use it carefully.

SUPPOSED TO: Do not omit the “d”. “Suppose to” is incorrect.
USED TO: Same as above. Do not write “use to”.

IN REGARD TO / WITH REGARD TO: Please note that there is no “s” in “regard”.
REGARDS: A nice way to sign off a letter. (Please observe that the “T” is close to the “G” on your keyboard: proofread before you send your note.)

TOWARD: There is no “s” at the end of the word.
ANYWAY: Also has no ending “s”. “Anyways” is nonstandard.

COULDN’T CARE LESS: Be sure to make it negative. (Not “I could care less”.)

ALL WALKS OF LIFE: Not “woks of life”. This phrase does not apply to Asian cuisine.

ORIENTAL: Refers to things from Asia, like rugs, not people.
ASIAN: People from Asia.

CHEST OF DRAWERS: Not “chester drawers”.

PEDESTAL: Not “petal stool” or “pedal stool”.
PEDAL: The little doohickeys you press with your feet in your car.
PETAL: Part of a flower.

LADDER: A thing you climb. It has rungs.
LATTER: When referring to two things, one is the former (or first), and one is the latter (or last).

SHUTTER: A hinged wooden window covering.
SHUDDER: To briefly shake oneself violently. “I shudder to think.”

FAUX PAS: Means “false step,” and you make a faux pas when you spell it incorrectly. Just sayin’.

FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES: Not “intensive purposes”.

PER SE: It is not “per say.” (Don’t use “per se” if you can’t define or spell it properly.)

Hope this helps.

High Five Grammar Cat offers congratulations.